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They Went Left (2020)
by Monica Hesse
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A historical mystery with an unreliable narrator, this post-war page-turner is set primarily in a displaced persons camp. It tells the story of Zofia, desperately searching for her little brother Abek...and the possibility of a life after trauma. (Sydney Taylor Young Adult Honor Book) ( )
A haunting story of a young woman, a survivor of the Holocaust searching for her brother. Of trying to forge a path forward after a horrific time period.
What happens when you’re liberated from a concentration camp and you know that the only person that could have survived is your little brother? You know roughly which camp he went to but where is he now? This book by Monica Hesse explores what Zofia Lederman does to find her missing brother, including going across Germany by herself to reunite with her brother. Desperation, hope, and never giving up are all central themes in this book. This book made my ache and want Zofia to find her brother. In the end, Zofia does what she needs to. I’d highly recommend this book!
i sort of feel like i've read my share of world war two historical novels and have generally avoided them for a while, but somehow ended up reading this one. it's - as far as i can remember - the first one that starts the action after the camps were liberated. there are some flashbacks to the roundups and the transports and the conditions in the concentration camps, but this is largely about dealing with what comes after, which is where most books end and never even allude to. i really appreciated this, and that there are obviously many mental health issues that come up for survivors. (i'm not sure how well that was handled, though. or, maybe what i mean is that it was there, but i wanted even more of that, for some people, or i wanted zophia to have more understanding for what everyone was going through, because she was, too.)
still. this was very well written, a compelling story, and a new perspective on a time that is written about often.
This is a post WWII, what happens to those that were released from the concentration camps. How did they get on with their lives. The main character is a young woman, damaged from the holocaust experience who is recently discharged from the hospital and she is looking for her brother. The only survivor from her family. This book was a part of the free audio summer program for young adults. I enjoyed it, there is some sexual content.
The New York Times bestselling, Sydney Taylor Honor winning, critically acclaimed tour de force historical mystery from Monica Hesse, author of Girl in the Blue Coat Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal, her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else--her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja--they went left. Zofia's last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fiancé. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once. But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her--or help her rebuild her world.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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